MRS stands for Micro Rafting System and also offers a variety of interesting packrafts. The manufacturer produces in small series in China, also in cooperation with the Packrafting-Store. Although the Packrafts are developed and produced in China, due to the high price of over 1000€ and exclusively positive reports on the Internet, it can be assumed that the Packrafts are of high quality. We had the chance to test two MRS packrafts on the water.
MRS Alligator 2S Review
The MRS Alligator 2S is a packraft which, according to Packrafting-Store, is designed for demanding packrafting. For us, demanding packrafting means that packrafters want to use their packraft intensively under demanding conditions (e.g. whitewater packrafting, large land-water tours, bikerafting, …) and expect a high level of sophisticated equipment.
high-quality workmanship + robust boat skin + high-quality skeg fitting (with optional deep-water skeg noticeably better directional stability) + light and compact pack size from the perspective of the equipment and performance + comfortable seating position + easy re-entry from the water + very stable + forgives many mistakes in white water + very well braced coaming + tight and sporty fit (ideal for paddling in white water) + can be optionally equipped with a footrest + robust floor, which also adequately protects the air chamber from below + good thigh straps included + accessories and spare parts available + 3-year guarantee on materials and workmanship
simple valve design for this price range (simple, functional and robust but valve opening for inflation bag has no recoil and upper valve piece can quickly get lost) – intact valve of the seat cushion on our model leads to air escaping from time to time – small people are dependent on the optional footrest – seat position can only be varied to a limited extent (optional footrest or supplied thigh straps may be necessary) – only repair material but no repair kit (i.e. material including glue) included in the scope of delivery
The MRS Alligator 2S is a very solid and sporty packraft with a wide range of uses. If you are looking for a compact packraft with a high level of stability and agility for paddling in rough water and white water, the Alligator 2S is a good choice.
On the one hand, it is still light and compact enough to take with you on multi-day packrafting or bikerafting tours. With the optional deep-water skeg and the pointed, elongated tail, calm rivers and lakes can be paddled more effectively than with other packrafts without a skeg. On the other hand, with its whitewater spraydeck, it offers optimum splash protection and, with the tight fit and the thigh straps supplied (with the optional footrest if required), a very good hold and plenty of control in whitewater.
The price is high, but for a fully-fledged whitewater packraft it is in line with the market. If you do without the internal storage system, you can reduce the price even further and get a robust yet well-equipped packraft for white water. In our experience, a luggage compartment in the air chamber with an airtight and waterproof zipper is very practical, but only a must-have feature for multi-day tours. On day trips, you can manage very well without it.
MRS Nomad S1 Review
Packrafts are mainly short and maneuverable boats that are primarily used in white water and fast flowing water. With the Nomad S1, however, MRS offers a packraft which, thanks to its length, is also suitable for longer tours on lakes and calm rivers. It is advertised as having running characteristics that allow packrafters to keep up with conventional kayaks.
Running characteristics similar to an inflatable kayak + Speeds of up to 6 km/h are realistic + Can also be used for white water + Good workmanship and robust material + Air chamber is generously protected by the floor material + Spraydeck can be rolled up (can therefore be reconfigured into an open packraft) + Spray skirt and skeg already included in the scope of delivery
high purchase price – simple valve design for this price range (simple, functional and robust but valve opening for inflation bag has no recoil and upper valve piece can quickly get lost) – seat position can only be varied to a limited extent – for tall paddlers possibly (depending on the tour, footwear and subjective feeling) little legroom – only repair material but no repair kit (i.e. material including glue) included in the scope of delivery – more difficult to paddle in white water than the Alligator 2S
The Nomad S1 is unrivaled in the packraft segment. If you really want to combine paddling with other outdoor activities (e.g. hiking, biking) or want to have the boat with you on every vacation without any problems, you should consider the Nomad S1 more closely. Although it has a hefty price tag, in this case the boat simply opens up possibilities that are not so easy to achieve with conventional inflatable kayaks.
However, if you are mainly looking for a compact 1-person boat that you can transport in a backpack, you should consider whether an inflatable kayak might be enough. Although these are a lot heavier and bulkier in terms of pack size, there are already cheaper models available and some come even closer to a conventional kayak due to their design. Many 1-person models can also be transported in a backpack, at least for short distances (around 30 minutes).